“When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day, when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking–the first in his life. She told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with.
The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”
All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone.
And the mother took the boy into her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because if violence begins in the nursery one can raise children into violence.”
-Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking, 1978 Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
I sit here, at the end of my degree(s) wondering where to go. I should be happy and proud of my accomplishment. But I sit here feeling empty, lost and alone.
I know why I feel this way, I wouldn’t be a graduated sociologist if I didn’t. I finished my degrees not for myself, but for the people around me. To make my parents proud, to feel as accomplished as my friends and to be accepted in society.
University was not the right path for me, I’ve known that for the past couple years. I’ve known that since the moment I cried to my dad in fear of not being able to finish, I’ve known since I’ve cried myself to sleep numerous times in frustration and I’ve known by watching my falling grades in devastation since year 2.
So why did I finish? Why did I put myself through the torture of sleepless nights, unexplainable amounts of anxiety and the pain of failure in my heart? Because I was supposed to right? Because if I didn’t I wouldn’t be successful in life right? Because if I dropped out I would be a quitter.
These are not things I make up in my head, they are things people have said to me. They are words from other’s mouths, through text messages and through societal expectations of my generation.
School was not for me.
But I finished.
So I guess that deserves a celebration, even though my heart is still lost and alone in a world that expects too much.
I am currently writing my last final! I can’t wait to be done and be able to focus on reading and writing things that actually interest me!!
Here’s a 20 min. video on social media and our society. It’s truely a great listen and really makes you think about the amount of time we all spend on our phones!
Talk to you all soon!